Emerald viewer is finally on steroids.

Though some would say Emerald was the "Official" LL SL Viewer on steroids.

It never was.

All it did was add features but did absolutely nothing for actual performance

Hard to believe March 1st will be my 4th anniversary on the grid. In all that time, I've experimented with different grid viewers: Nicholaz, CoolViewer, Gemini, Kirstens, Emerald...it can actually be a rather difficult decision to settle on just one, based on the feature-set and stability and all that stuff.

The one that has emerged as the best viewer feature-wise is the Emerald. I used it for many months... until Linden Lab forced official 1.23 upon the world. Official 1.23 is riddled with bugs and among them, one that really cramps my style is the snapshot-to-disk bug (only the lower-left two-thirds of the image is captured).

Emerald and all the other after-market viewers inherited this bug and all the other 1.23 bugs. Go-figure. But beyond that, the performance of the Official and all after-market viewers based on it is abysmal. You who use Emerald "proper" and all the rest of these simply don;t know it because you have become accustomed to sub-par grid experience.

Thus, I have been using the Snowglobe viewer ever since it was released because I consistently get a minimum of twice and often up to six-times the rendering and rezzing performance compared to all the others...including and especially Emerald.

I had been begging the code-developers of Emerald to use the Snowglobe code to no avail (so I gave-up long ago). As wonderful (and seriously buggy) as many of the fancy Emerald features are, none are worth giving-up the stunning rendering and rezzing performance Snowglobe provides. In fact, the single sole "feature" of Emerald I missed was the "double-click to teleport" (it certainly wasn't bouncing primtits.)

So I went to download the latest build of the primary viewers, including Snowglobe and Emerald to create another 60-Second Rezzing Test so I could show how Snowglobe blows Emerald out of the water as far as performance is concerned.

Then I noticed it; in the Downloads page, where the list links called "Windows", "Linux", "Macintosh", Source", "Signatures" and... waaaay at the bottom where no one will notice it like it's some completely different platform or something: "Snowglobe". No wonder no one is using that version of Emerald. It was a quiet, stealthy upgrade. Yes, upgrade.

So I snagged it. And it is basically Snowglobe with all the features of Emerald! It's about damned time.

So, if you are an Emerald fan, try an upgrade to the Emerald Snowglobe version (bottom link on the download page). The performance boost will will stun you. Unfortunately, only a Windows version for right now (A mac version would really kick-ass for performance!)
A couple things: why these weren't set as defaults is beyond me, but you will want to activate your advanced menu (ctrl-alt-d) and go to the Rendering submenu and turn on "HTTP Get Textures" and "Multiple Threads" for an extra boost. Also, there is one Emerald-specific bug: in edit mode, selected items are not highlighted. How this slipped through I have no idea, so Snowglobe will remain my primary until this one glitch is fixed, but I will keep emerald around again.

UPDATE: Found the preference to re-enable the highlighting of selected objects and it is quite simple to turn them back on:
  • Preferences->Emerald->Build (tab)
  • Uncheck (off) "Enable highlighting of selected prims" - recheck (on) it.
  • Click the Apply button.
  • Press CTRL-O (oh, not zero)
I am quite positive once the word gets out that Emerald is available in a Snowglobe version, a mass migration will occur, Because in comparison, the Snowglobe version mops the floor with the "standard" version as far as sheer performance is concerned.